Black wedding photographers are becoming more popular across the US, but in many places, the traditional black wedding photographer is not among them.
In a bid to promote diversity, Al Jazeera has partnered with the US wedding photography community to produce an annual Black Wedding Photography competition that aims to bring together black wedding photographers to share their work and help them to become more visible.
“Black wedding photographers will be able to participate in a series of events, from the official opening of their wedding studio to the celebration of the couple’s big day,” said Al Jazeera.
“The participants will have access to their own studios, share their ideas and work together in a space where everyone can see their work, and hopefully get some insight into the process of creating a Black wedding photography portfolio.”
The inaugural event, held on January 3, will be held in Atlanta, Georgia.
The first round of entries will be announced on Tuesday, March 7.
The second round of entrants will be published on Friday, March 16.
The final round will be released on March 23.
The organisers are hoping to raise enough money for their first year to help fund the development of the Black Photography Conference, which aims to promote and inspire the development and dissemination of Black photography.
“It is critical that Black wedding professionals take the initiative to develop their photography and create their own personal brand,” said Shannon Loughlin, the executive director of the American Black Wedding Photographers Association (ABCWPA).
“We’re hoping that the first year of the competition will bring in a great amount of talent to our network and help to develop and promote our black photographers.”
While there are more than 5,000 Black wedding photographer in the US today, they make up less than 1% of the population.
In the first four years of the ABCWPA’s existence, the association has grown from four to nine members, with the first group of women invited to attend its first ever convention, in 2013.
According to ABCWPS president and CEO Jamey Rovner, the goal is to increase the representation of black photographers in the industry by giving the community a voice and encouraging them to get involved.
“We wanted to give our members a voice in the way that we did this,” he said.
“We’ve always wanted to encourage our members to be part of our network.”
Al Jazeera has asked the ABCWs for permission to publish the Black wedding Photographer competition and to allow a limited number of photos to be taken from the event.
“It was really hard for us to find photographers that were qualified and qualified and that could be the first time that they could participate,” said Loughlins.
“The reason why we decided to do it is because we were really proud to be a part of this and really wanted to share our stories, and be the ambassadors that we are.”
The first two rounds of the first round are open to anyone who is a member of the black wedding photography fraternity.
Each participant will receive $50 for taking a portrait, $100 for a slideshow and $250 for a full-page photograph.
“This is our chance to show what we’ve been able to achieve in our community through our work and to share that with others,” said Rovners.
“This is really about showing our story, showing that we’re not alone, that we can succeed.
We’re not all perfect.
We all have stories that we have to tell.
This is a chance for us all to share with each other.””
We want to encourage more women to get in there and share their stories with the world, to be seen as people,” said the ABC’s Loughins.
“That’s why we want to bring in all the women that are in the studio, because they’re really important in the future.”